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Choline Part 2Special Note: Because you make cholesterol in your liver, choline is also thought to help control high cholesterol, so those with this condition may want to discuss supplementation with a physician.
You can supplement choline in your diet by taking soy lecithin granules, but there are some drawbacks to this method. These granules are made from soybean oil, and have to be stored in the refrigerator or they will turn rancid. They also contain only 10 to 20 percent phosphatidylcholine, and choline supplements containing at least 90 percent phosphatidylcholine are now available.
Choline supplements come in capsules or tablets. Thereís also a supplement called DMAE that provides the same benefits as choline, but is said to deliver those benefits to your brain more quickly. Like choline, DMAE increases levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, and is thought to improve short-term memory, concentration, and learning capacity. DMAE is also being studied for itís possible use as a treatment for ADHD and other disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system, although there is not much evidence to support these theories.
Sustained megadosing (above 6,000 milligrams) with choline supplements can cause dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. If you develop any of these symptoms, stop taking the choline supplement and call your physician. Taking more than 1 gram of supplementary choline per day is not generally recommended; doses over 10 grams can give you an unpleasant body odor.
Choline deficiency is rare, but it can lead to gastric ulcers, internal bleeding in the kidneys, excessively high blood pressure, heart disease, inability to digest fats, stunted growth, and degeneration of the liver. If you are taking nicotinic acid (a form of niacin) as a treatment, you may need choline supplements, since high levels of niacin can deplete the choline in your system.
Return to Choline, part 1
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